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Head of Unit - Partnership Development Office


  • Organization: UNOPS - United Nations Office for Project Services
  • Location: Kinshasa
  • Grade: Mid level - IICA-3, International Individual Contractors Agreement
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Development Cooperation and Sustainable Development Goals
    • External Relations, Partnerships and Resource mobilization
    • Public, Private Partnership
    • Managerial positions
  • Closing Date: 2024-07-09

Job categories Partnerships
Vacancy code VA/2024/B5301/28278
Level ICS-11
Department/office AFR, CDMCO, DR Congo
Duty station Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Contract type International ICA
Contract level IICA-3
Duration Ongoing
Application period 11-Jun-2024 to 09-Jul-2024
Applications to vacancies must be received before midnight Copenhagen time (CET) on the closing date of the announcement.

Functional Responsibilities

1. Integrated Partnerships Development Strategy 

2. Partnerships Development and Stakeholder Engagement 

3. Partner Relations and Inter-Agency Collaboration 

4. Monitoring and Reporting 

5. Project Identification, Formulation and Support for Project Offices 

6. Team/ Unit Leadership 

7. Knowledge Management and Innovation

1. Integrated Partnerships Development Strategy

  • Under the direction of the Country/ Multi-Country Office Director, lead the development of a comprehensive partnerships development strategy in line with UNOPS’s Strategic Plan, the AFR regional strategy and the Country/Multi-Country Office Plan. This includes country context, analyses of the regional and national development, peace and humanitarian landscape, identification of main partners, and strategic positioning of UNOPS in the potential operational niches identified while considering and recommending changes in in-house capacity, typology of projects and availability of internal tools and knowledge resources.

  • Advise and support Office Senior Management Team on implementation of the partnerships strategy. 

  • Advise and support Office Senior Management Team throughout the project development  planning process, including definition of high-priority partners, countries, sectors and service areas.

  • Research and analyse specific donor strategies, programming priorities and political situations in order to identify potential funding opportunities appropriate to UNOPS’s strategy and mandate.

  • Drive a disciplined approach across the partnerships functions to project and programme development which balances costs, risk, revenues and beneficiary impact within the mandate and spirit of the UN and UNOPS’ Pricing Policy. 

2. Partnerships Development and Stakeholder Engagement
  • Lead the partnerships team to develop, extend and maintain strong partnerships with selected key partners, including governments, UN agencies, donors, foundations, NGOs, foundations, academia, and the private sector. 
  • Work closely with the Head of Programme (HoP), Head of Support Services (HoSS), and Project/Programme Management Office (PMO) Manager to ensure new projects are developed by project managers and partnerships officers in tight coordination with programme and support services. 
  • Ensure the conduct of required procedures such as Project Acceptance Committees (PACs), IPAS reviews, following standard operating procedures for partnership development operational excellence.
  • Develop and model the high standards of partnership positioning and development necessary to inspire and guide the partnerships officers in their work. 
  • Work closely with communications to ensure the external positioning of UNOPS Office is aligned with the Office Strategy and Partnerships Plan. 
  • Participate and lead in key partnership-building meetings and negotiations with donors and clients, ensuring that cost-effective and mutually beneficial terms are achieved for UNOPS’ services while ensuring systematic and timely follow-up on agreed actions. 
  • Coordinate, advise, mentor and coach relevant partnerships and programme personnel at country, programme and project ensure aligned and coherent interactions with partners.
  • Connect and collaborate with other peer, regional and HQ levels of partnerships to stay in touch with good practices and share and build UNOPS capabilities in partnerships development.
  • Facilitate and/ or manage and lead meetings between Office management and key government representatives as and when required. 
  • Plan and facilitate high-level meetings between UNOPS senior management and sub-regional/ country-level partners, including during key events such as conferences and other fora.
  • Support partners in examining available options for effective project development and implementation and achievement of results while promoting national ownership.
  • Showcase the Office’s capabilities and set Office standards for developing and distributing corporate communication materials, capacity statements and success stories which enhance clients’ understanding of the impact of various services provided and/ or delivered by UNOPS.
    3. Partner Relations and Inter-Agency Collaboration
  • As delegated, participate in meetings with senior government counterparts on behalf of UNOPS and represent the Country/Multi-Country Director in meetings and negotiations with partners as required. 
  • Participate in inter-agency planning and cluster meetings for the UN System development, peace and humanitarian plans.
  • Contribute at the sub-regional/ country level to the harmonization of policies, practices and approaches within the UN System, including the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF).
 4. Monitoring and Reporting
  • Ensure programmes/ projects developed are in line with the Results Based Management (RBM) principles.
  • Ensure partnerships projects and programmes are developed with appropriate monitoring and evaluation frameworks that allow for effective oversight and evaluation of impact. 
  • Collaborate with Project Managers to formulate the project results frameworks and establish measurable long- and short-term targets for performance monitoring.
  • Ensure up-to-date/ informative/ accurate reports are prepared and submitted on time related to partnerships development across the Office; such as Partnership Development Office (PDO) Monthly Reports, Quarterly Pipeline update & progress reports,  Partner Survey Action Plan reports.
  • Lead the Office design and roll-out of internal feedback mechanisms which provide insights for continuously improving the form and content of partner outreach and project development activities. 
  • Develop, lead and maintain the set-up of tracking systems for tracking partnerships development and progress.
5. Project Identification, Formulation and Support for Project Offices
  • Support and guide partnership officers in the Country and Project Offices in researching and assessing the stakeholder landscape to identify priority themes and opportunities.
  • Support Country and Project Offices and partnerships officers on various activities/ deliverables that help take potential partnerships forward, including drafting concept notes, preparing project proposals, producing other relevant knowledge products, and participating in negotiations on new projects and programmes with key partners.
  • Provide inputs and suggestions across all aspects related to the project formulation phase and analyze implementation approaches for soundness, sustainability, gender mainstreaming, feasibility, resource availability and cost and risk implications. This includes on own’s direct elaboration of project/programme documents.
 6. Team/ Unit Leadership
  • Lead and motivate the partnerships team members, ensuring relevant information and communication flows on all partnerships development opportunities and portfolio development and with other departments/ units. 
  • Provide coaching, training and development of partnerships officers to enhance their skills and capacity
  • Provide leadership in the standard setting of proposal writing, develop systems of quality control and collaboration
  • Be prepared to develop and manage critical projects as the project manager while necessary before and after start-up depending on the requirements of the Office
  • Collaborate with the Head of Support Services and Head of Programme and Support Units to ensure focus on client satisfaction while taking quality and innovation into consideration.
  • Collaborate closely with Country Managers in the development and execution of their local partnerships strategy
  • Ensure that individual performance reviews are conducted fairly, accurately and timely.
  • Create, foster a positive work environment and role model a culture of respect and zero tolerance of discrimination, abuse of authority, harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual exploitation and abusements.
  • Coordinate the work of the PDO through the preparation of its work plan and the establishment of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Develop and ensure implementation of the unit’s annual work plans and targets.
7. Knowledge Management and Innovation
  • Implement standards, tools and templates provided by HQ to effectively manage partnership and project development within the team, thereby enhancing and/ or maintaining UNOPS’ effectiveness as a provider of project services for sustainable results.
  • Contribute to the ongoing global research, development and implementation of best practice and innovative approaches to maximize performance and sustain achievements in project and partnerships development, including the re-design and / or localisation of tools, templates, dashboards, processes and systems for Office partnerships management. 
  • Help build partnerships capacity and negotiation skills among project managers, partnerships officers and country managers.
  • Contribute to the dissemination and sharing of best practices and lessons learned for planning and knowledge building within project and partnerships development.
  • Provide regular feedback on existing systems, tools and resources to ensure relevance to day-to-day operations.

Impact of Results: The effective and successful achievement of results by the Head of Unit- Partnership Development Office impacts on the performance of the Country/ Multi-Country Office by maintaining a robust and diverse pipeline of project opportunities, which leads to sustainable growth of the UNOPS’ presence and strengthens the achievements of UNOPS management results and the fulfilment of its mandate

Education/Experience/Language requirements

  • Advanced university degree (Master’s Degree or equivalent) in a relevant field such as Business Administration, Public Administration, International Development, Engineering, Political Science, Communications or International Relations is required.

  • First level university degree (Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent) with an additional two (2) years of relevant work experience may be accepted in lieu of the education requirements outlined above.

  • At least seven (7) years of progressive experience in partnerships development, resource mobilization, and donor and external relations within international development, post-disaster and/or emergency / humanitarian contexts, including accountabilities related to: development and execution of partnerships and programme development plans, project development and proposal writing, and acquisition of projects is required.

  • Project and programme management experience is an asset.

  • Inter-agency coordination experience (within the UN System) is an asset 

  • Knowledge of infrastructure, project management and/or procurement projects is desirable.

Language Requirements:
  • Fluency in French is required.
  • Fluency in English is required. 

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.